The Arewa Economic Renewal Forum (AERF), a regional economic renewal movement, has called for a viable economic blueprint to revive the dying industries in northern Nigeria.
At a press briefing yesterday, the Chairman of AERF Ibrahim Shehu Yahaya said all aspirants gunning for the nation’s top job need to provide a plan that entails a visible roadmap to “reviving comatose Northern industries, harnessing virgin resources and utilisation of demographic advantages for the empowerment of our people in terms of education and wealth creation.”
Yahaya said the move is important because people in the region have determined that February 2023 is the time for the North to take her destiny into her hands and restore lost glories “by throwing our weight behind any candidate with a viable economic blueprint for the restoration of Arewa.”
He said: “Over the years, Nigeria and especially the North have suffered an epileptic form of leadership borne out of a lackluster attitude of elected persons to engineer the much-desired economic prosperity by exploiting regional assets, demographic potentials, geologic advantages and agricultural benefits for economic, infrastructural and human development. The resultant consequence for our region is poverty, substandard education, lack of access to credit financing and other negative underdevelopment indicators.”
He added that despite the size and dimension of the population of the region with an arable landmass in Nigeria only about 23% of the landmass is fully utilized for agricultural purposes due to the inability of successive administrations to exploit resources in mainstreaming human development.
“In terms of Access to Finance and Credit for Investment and Development from the National Financial System, the Northern Region has consistently over the last 10 years been short-changed sometimes by the deliberate policy of the government and private financial institutions. The gross distribution of development and investment finance by government institutions and other financial institutions has always been skewed in favour of other regions, enterprises and institutions in Nigeria”